Adopting healthy routines to create healthy habits

Adopting new routines to create healthy habits (you can change your life by adopting some of these healthy habits and now is a great time to do it!)

Our familiar routines create a sense of security – we know what to expect when, where, what and how. Our routines reinforce our habits and many of these are positive for our health and well being. 

But sometimes, our recurring actions and decisions often hide habits that are not good for us. In this new normal, we have welcomed habits that could be difficult to break, choosing the sofa over an afternoon stroll, or grabbing a candy bar to keep ourselves going (even though we know that the apple would be healthier).

How can you prevent these new routines becoming permanent negative habits?  

The idea that it takes 21 days to form a habit idea was introduced in the 1960 self-help book by cosmetic surgeon Dr. Maxwell Maltz. He suggested that if people practiced self-affirmations and positive behaviors for 21 days then those healthy habits would become habitual. Most of us have been experiencing some form of restrictions for longer than 21 days, and we may not realize how we have formed some new habits until we try to return to a more “normal” way of life. 

Here are 4 helpful tips to get you through 21 days of new habit forming to make a positive contribution to your everyday life and health!

Tip #1 Start the day with an alarm clock (not your phone)

The smartphone is our daily companion. It has become our alarm clock and automatically gets our immediate attention in the morning. It’s all too easy to turn off the alarm and get caught up in news and social media channels.  Just 5 minutes after waking up, you might be dealing with questions such as “What do others want from me?” and “What did I miss?”. 

Our advice:  Let’s go back to the 1990s. Switch your phone for a more traditional bedside alarm clock (and leave your devices to charge overnight downstairs). Use the first half hour of the day for your own thoughts and needs. You want to give space to your personal sense of calmness and ability to cope, so you can start your day refreshed and ready.

Tip #2 Add breakfast to your morning routine

We all know it – a healthy breakfast filled with fruits, whole grains and protein replenishes your supply of glucose to boost your energy levels and alertness. Choosing the right kind of foods in the morning is extremely important to jumpstart your day, and sustain you through the hours working at home. 

Tip #3 Schedule movement and outdoor time

While confined to our own four walls for extended periods, it can be hard to stay alert and focused. Instead of another cup of coffee, break up your day with some light stretches or yoga.

Without a daily commute you have time for a 30-minute jog or walk around the neighborhood. The benefits of being among nature outdoors are impactful. Try to get outside and enjoy some fresh air (even if it’s just drinking your coffee outside or enjoying a picnic in your backyard). Leave your phone indoors and enjoy the sound of the birds or your children playing. 

Tip #4 Take regular breaks

Your lunch break is fast approaching and you haven’t finished that one last thing for your project, so you hurriedly grab a snack and work through your lunch break. This has always been the case wherever we are working, and quickly becomes a bad habit of snacking between “clicks” on the computer. 

Our working lives are a marathon, not a sprint. When we work without breaks we lack the energy needed to make it through the day productively. Schedule breaks in your calendar for 10-20 minutes in the morning and again in the afternoon. Get up, clear your mind, stretch or go outside, but especially –  get up from your computer and take a break.

Brunel is here for you with more top tips you can access on our blog page here. And if you are in the process of updating your resume, or improving your LinkedIn profile, connect with one of our Recruitment Consultants. We’ll load your profile into our database so that we can quickly find and submit you when the right vacancy comes in.